These frameworks are so versatile. They can be used to show so many types of timing concepts as well as a creative way to show process stages with associated text/graphics. The lines extending from the segments can create a space to contain participants, contributors, responsibilities, affiliations, etc.
The series example is an interesting way to illustrate the development and history of a product/market without the usual tables with bulleted text. The graphic designs are generic logos with the example company name. There's can be a lot of information on this type of slide if done creatively.
There are two versions, each with 12 segments. The thin version is for dates/years or single-word descriptors. The thick version is for larger amounts of text. The lines can be adjusted/removed as needed.
Customizing the vertically sliced circles
If you want to scale the graphic, just select all and group. Then hold the shift key down as you resize. If you want to adjust the size of arrow segments, then group just the arrow segments and rescale. The lines extending from the segments can be resized and angled to best suit your purposes. A suggestion: keep the lines at the same angle or the chart will begin to look messy and unprofessional.
Color variationsThe lines and segments can receive colors from your presentation template's color palette. You can use color to highlight sections of the arrow or give the lines a different color to add a little contrast.
PowerPoint 2007 options
You can use shallow bevels, drop shadows, soft glows if you wish with these frameworks. You may want to stay away from reflections since the reflection may get in the way of text associated with the segments.
If you use 3D, just make sure that the depth is shallow. 3D isn't always a good choice when the graphics have lots of closely spaced segments. The 3D tends to fill in the space and make the segments less distinct.
Drop shadows look really nice with these frameworks. They "lift" the framework off the slide and give it a 3D look. If you're using PowerPoing 2003, don't use shadows. The shadow feature in this application will date your presentation; it will look outdated and clunky.
Gradients, patterns, and picturesGradients are a great option. Imported pictures can also work if you don't intend to put too much text in the segments. Make sure the text in the segments is clearly readable over the photographs. You can group the segments and import one photograph that is cropped to the exact size of the group. This photograph will span the segments. See the Power Chart for August 2011 for this technique. It's a good one.
Keep the animations simple: reveals, fades, etc.